Addressing Structure on a Conscious Level
The first unit in the teachers program for executive functions deals with CLASSROOM STRUCTURE AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. This program is designed to work within the schools and also within a tutoring environment. The different components that are addressed are listed below. For a middle school, high school or college students perspective what this might mean is their desk, or the way in which they pack-up their book bags or backpacks. For college students this also refers to the places they choose to study, their bed, the library. The idea here is to address on a conscious level what your environment looks likes, when your teaching or when your learning; from whatever vantage point you are taking.
ORGANIZE THE ENVIRONMENT (Environment and Structure)
Teaching Vantage Point:
- Room Arrangement
- Uniform headings for papers
- Homework distribution and collection
- Daily schedule
- Post a Lesson agenda
- Using a time timer
- Organizational systems: desk, binder, planner
Student Vantage Point:
- Their desk for studying
- Where they choose to study (their bed, the library)
- The way in which they pack-up their book bags or back-packs
|Clear Pencil Pouch|
Time management is a huge piece of the program. Up until now the program has talked about structuring the classroom and the materials management component. These are more of the stand alone pieces, that is to say that you really want to get these in place. You then integrate those throughout the day and they should be set-up right away. When we get into time management we segue into the areas that are more embedded in daily practice.
The planner is the heart of the time management component.
We start with the yearly planner...
add all the things that are important in the students life
Then we go to the monthly calendar. The idea is if you have the monthly planner on the wall at home and at school the teacher models writing all the important dates and assignments on the calendar.
Part of the systematize routine approach is to use a common language like the one listed below. A system of notating is important. Using NH for no homework so even the student knows that it is a night of no homework versus wondering if it was simply not filled in. A good teaching habit is allowing the last five minutes of class for students to write down their homework. In fact this is the biggest complaint the kids have, not getting time to write down homework.
The next steps in good time management deal with prioritization. There are "A" assignments and "B" assignments, if the assignment is due tomorrow than it's an "A". Then within all the "A's" you can further prioritize them and number them. You also want to estimate how much time it will take you to do them. If it's not due for a couple of days, you break it down and write it in your planner.
Adding C-Notes is a system used only for long term assignments. The words are printed on the C-Notes and each color is for a subject.
You list out the different parts of the assignment on the C-Notes and you transfer it on to the monthly calander
But more importantly to the weekly planner.
Pay attention to the C-Note on the left hand side of the page. Let's say the student does not get this done so here is what it ends up looking like.
You get to pick it up and move it and it provides that really good visual. It jumps right out at you, you know what your subjects are because they're color coated and now you can see that oh no, I have two things on that day to do. This is a great system for long term projects. You planner would look cluttered if you try and use this system for short term work.
There is a checklists as part of the program. This allows the student to check if they have prepared and are on task for pending assignments.
The Time Timer is heavily used in the program.
And finally teach "action" - action tackles procrastination.
DID YOU KNOW? The national organization of Time Management Professionals uncovered that the average American spends 55 minutes a day looking for things they know they have or own but can't find. Part of good planning is to cut down on that 55 minutes!
Time Management Products:
Time Timer Products
RUSH NEUROBEHAVIORAL CENTER: (RNCB)
Georgia Bozeday, Ed.D. from Rush NeuroBehavioral Center, Skokie IL. presents an overview of executive function deficits in school using a variety of strategies and technique.
Teachers: ipad apps to help interface with students with Executive Functioning difficulties.
IAnnotate allows you to receive PDF files from your students or an article you are reading and take notes or highlight an important fact and of course assist a student in corrections. A fabulous app to keep your notes organized, with the ability to make corrections or add notes.
Working with Students with Learning Disabilities
Lazy Kid or Executive Functioning?